Roundabouts are a kind of intersection or junction without traffic lights that force flow in one direction around a central round island. They reduce the probability of automotive crashes occurring. The Federal Highway Administration considers them a Proven Safety Countermeasure because of this.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation shows that they boast an over 80% decrease in fatal wrecks. They also lower the overall intersection injury accident rate considerably. In spite of these statistics and the fact that they are specially designed to mitigate risks, collisions and other vehicular incidents still happen at them. Sheriff Tom Burch of Cass County, Minnesota, provides some tips for staying safe at roundabouts.
One of the most important things for motor operators to remember at this type of intersection is to yield to both drivers already present when they arrive and crossing cyclists and pedestrians. They also need to employ caution by slowing down, keeping an eye out for signs and avoiding passing, changing lanes and abruptly stopping. Once in the roundabout, they need to travel counterclockwise to the exit.
For cyclists and pedestrians
There are sidewalks and crosswalks placed at roundabouts specifically for pedestrians. Staying on these and not trying to walk over to the island may help prevent accidents. Roundabout designers also had cyclists in mind during creation, so they may use the crosswalks or the main road. If they wish to go with the flow of traffic, they must obey the same laws constraining automobiles, including yielding.
Roundabouts are safer than other intersections, but they do not eliminate the dangers inherent to traveling on the road. Exercising vigilance at them may save lives and ward off crashes. Those involved in wrecks at a roundabout may have legal avenues to obtain compensation.